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All stats of our Area 51 page are in the green except the Questions Per Day. We need to raise it from 2.3 to 15 questions per day. Does anyone have any good ideas? I've seen some sites have had users "pledge" to ask a question a day or every other day. What other ways can we raise our questions per day stat?

  • The site is up to 5.9 questions per day now – still short of “excellent” but at least “okay” now. What does the site still need to accomplish to graduate? – Bradd Szonye Apr 25 '14 at 1:44
  • Steady growth and an enthusiastic community (not saying we don't have one :P). There are no magic numbers that mean automatic graduation. – American Luke Apr 25 '14 at 13:22
  • As of May 19th, we are showing 600 questions per week: data.stackexchange.com/music/query/161411/… - this looks pretty healthy! – Doktor Mayhem May 19 '14 at 15:51
  • Does that include closed questions? It seems a far cry from the 6.1 QPD stat on A51 (43 questions per week). – American Luke May 19 '14 at 16:52
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Hmm. I think part of it may be the nature of the topic — it's quite normal to run into a new programming problem every day, but not likely to have a new practice/performance problem. As individuals we could certainly look into a new area of theory we haven't before, for example; that would provide a good source of questions. But in the long run that isn't sustainable.

Our number of "active users" is slightly inflated due to the Guitars merge, since it actually counts rep and not current activity, though I don't know the exact numbers. Since users drive questions I think it may actually be the user department where we are suffering. Our stats about answering are great, and I think we have a number of experts, so the questions I would ask are:

  • How can we attract new users, paricularly beginners?
  • How can we keep new users coming back to the site and asking questions as they progress?

That assumes that the new users are constructive conributors. However, a substantial portion of new users come here asking for recommendations, "what's your favorite song", etc. While there are certain classes of questions we've decided are off-topic but could potentially be made on-topic one day, those kinds of questions aren't constructive and just aren't doable on Stack Exchange at a fundamental level. So they're going to be closed, which leads to another question:

  • How can we ensure poor-fit questions are closed without discouraging people? How can we turn that negative experience into a positive one?

All 3 of these are fairly difficult questions to answer, and I hope others have some ideas about them as well as the general topic of your post, Luke.

One approach I've been trying to address the last question was suggested by Overlord Shog. Instead of just saying

Sorry, this is off-topic, see the FAQ

I've been trying to be more specific about the problem and, most importantly, add things like

If you have another question that would be a better fit, please feel free to ask it!

Hopefully this will help to turn the comment from "rejection" to "invitation", in some sense, and the user will try again.

  • Better than just being specific with your criticism, be constructive with your criticism. Don't say "sorry, we don't do listening recommendations", say "sorry, we don't do listening recommendations, because <reason>, but if you tell us something specific that you want to learn, we might be able to help you." - ok, it's hard to come up with a good example here, it really has to be tailored to each question. – naught101 Sep 16 '12 at 12:15
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Matthew makes a very good point about engaging users - we have 45 pages of users with a reputation of 101 or less. That's about 1600 people who have visited but not had any upvotes.

Have we put them off by being harsh about their first question? If so, let's edit and encourage updating of the question rather than just telling them it is off-topic.

Have we looked at all the answers? Are there a lot of answers with no upvotes - perhaps an idea is to encourage more of the regulars to check out the review tab at least once a week. Responding to every new answer posted can help a new member feel engaged, and could translate to repeat visits. Again, the two most common activities should be an upvote if the answer deserves it, or assistance/edit/comment if it is not quite there. Downvotes still need to be allowed for the answers that really can't be saved, but let's encourage more than discourage.

Aside from that, I guess we could try and get into the habit of watching in the news, blogs, online etc. for music topics which could translate into a question, ask the question, and then post that URL back at the original site - it's all about spreading the word, really.

  • Heartily agree with this. I've had a few questions closed within hours, with no real suggestions for how they could be re-worded (ie. plenty of negative criticism, no guidance for improvement). I've stuck around, but I'm sure others wouldn't. – naught101 Aug 30 '12 at 2:05
  • I think musicians can struggle with the stack overflow model, a few users have been harsh about vague questions, if a question has no merit it should just be downvoted. – Alexander Troup Jul 16 '13 at 11:36
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Update 1 -10/15/12

Our QPD is now 3.1. It's rising, but we need to move faster. We have over 2,300 visits per day. If we can continue to feed good-quality content, our user-base (approaching 3000 users) will continue to expand and the QPD will continue to rise. However, at 538 days in beta (almost one and a half years), we're running a risk of being closed. I find it imperative to make an extra push for graduation.

  • You should add this as an update to your question, rather than posting it as an answer here. – Hannele Apr 11 '13 at 16:35
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Since the ultimate goal is to have a repository of helpful information on a broad range of common musical questions/problems, couldn't we ask questions specifically so that there are answers on the site? What I mean is that you can ask a question about something that you've already figured out on your own if you think the answers will be helpful to a lot of people.

I think that these sort of questions may actually end up being some of the best ones. It would certainly help QPD as well as future visitors.

  • 1
    Answering your own questions (i.e. as a blog post) is encouraged in the FAQ. – Hannele Apr 11 '13 at 16:20
  • @Hannele Thanks. I hadn't noticed that, and hadn't noticed any questions that people answered themselves. Here I thought I had a great original idea... ;) – ecline6 Apr 11 '13 at 16:30

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